MPAA Rating: R
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola
Runtime: 1 hr 54 mins
What It Is: Ronit (Weisz) was shunned by her devoutly Orthodox Jewish family for her sexuality, particularly her Rabbi father who’s just passed away. When she returns for his funeral the disdain is palpable amongst the community. When she sees a former lover Esti (McAdams) is now married to their childhood best friend and her father’s protege Dovid (Nivola) but old habits die hard. Will the temptation bring the two together again? Will it tear apart the sanctity of marriage or will their powerful Judaism hold everything together?
What We Think: This film has a ridiculous amount of promise. You take Academy Award-winning director Sebastián Lelio and put him in a film with Oscar nominees Rachel Weisz and nominee fellow Rachel McAdams. You should get something that is going to sweep up come the awards season. That’s for sure not what this is. This is an absolute slog to get through. Boring at the best of times and unbearable at it’s worst. One of Lelio’s strongest suits is his ability to humanize the characters on-screen. His own script lets him down here with one exception…Alessandro Nivola. His performance, particularly in the final third of the film, is utterly astounding. He gives a monologue at the end of this that is one of the best and most powerful scenes in a film in 2018. It’s too bad it is surrounded by such mediocrity.
Our Grade: C+, So much potential is squandered into a film that just isn’t as good as it should be. I can’t really give a strong recommendation to this one. It’s available on Amazon Prime now (because it took me forever to write this). So if you want to see an even more slowly paced version of Carol then, by all means, do so. Just don’t do it if you’re sleepy and tired.